I conquered my fear of dying before entering politics: Imran

By AFP
Published: April 30, 2013
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Imran Khan addresses supporters during a general election campaign meeting in Taxila some 36 Kms west of Islamabad on April 29, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Imran Khan addresses supporters during a general election campaign meeting in Taxila some 36 Kms west of Islamabad on April 29, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

SARGODHA: You can’t lead a revolution and hide behind bullet-proof glass – at least not according to Imran Khan, wildcard contender for power at the ballot box in Pakistan next week.

Visibly tired by 15-hour days, frenetic flying and driving round the country to address tens of thousands in a campaign dominated by threats and fear of attack, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman and cricket legend is nothing if not focused.

“This is a revolution taking place,” he told AFP after a couple of days of hard campaigning in Punjab.

“When I came to politics 17 years ago, I had already conquered my fear of dying because I knew I was going to challenge the status quo,” the 60-year-old said. But security is clearly a major preoccupation.

Imran says he’s on the “top five hit list”. He may not use the bulletproof glass screens used by other politicians at public rallies, but he travels in an armoured car with an armed police escort.

A rally in Karachi was cancelled on Sunday after attacks on rival parties killed more than 20 people. Attacks targeting the election campaign have so far killed nearly 60 people ahead of the May 11 polls.

“We couldn’t take a risk. It’s just too dangerous. I mean you can’t risk the life of other people,” the 60-year-old said.

“My older son worries. You know he worries, obviously, because when he hears what’s going on in Pakistan,” he says.

Imran and Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) chief, are the only two leaders addressing big rallies.

The three main parties in the outgoing government, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Awami National Party (ANP), have curtailed public gatherings in the face of direct Taliban threats.

Imran’s campaign is about mobilising the masses, exploiting disaffection with a corrupt elite, tapping into anti-American sentiment that blames many of the countries woes on the United States and promising to fix a crippling power crisis.

“If my politics is different… I can’t be standing behind a bullet-proof screen and connecting with the people,” he said.

When he bounded up to the microphone in Sarghoda, he deliberately stepped in front, not behind the protective screen party workers had hauled onto the podium.

Scathing about Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari, he does, however, have words of pity for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who returned home last month from self-imposed exile only to be put under house arrest.

“He sent me a message once saying if he and I got together, then 95 percent of Pakistan was with us. I mean that would have been a suicide attack on my party,” he said.

“Anyway, it’s something I have always had for underdogs, I feel sorry for him, although he did a lot of damage to Pakistan.”

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Reader Comments (83)

  • Falcon
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:05PM

    May God keep everyone safe.

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  • bilal
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:09PM

    IK our hero you are not alone. we all will support you to witness Naya Pakistan.

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  • Jeerablade
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:14PM

    My leader…My Hero

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  • ayesha
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:18PM

    Honesty is written all over this man..Ya ALLAH succeed Him please
    We love you IMRAN KHAN <3

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  • omer
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:18PM

    oh really thats why he cant speak against barbaric acts of TTP

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  • Shais
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:21PM

    Someone whose trust in Allah is manifest. May Allah change the state of the country through Imran Khan.

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  • Shoaib Multani
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:37PM

    Look who is talking about revolution. First he should learn ethics of communication in public rallies. He should avoid personal attacks on others just to get cheap popularity.

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  • NayaPakistan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:38PM

    Join the crescendo of change for NayaPakistan and do the bang on 11th May against the status quo by voting for ballla.

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  • Gul Muhammad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:39PM

    Imran’s speeches are directed by whom?
    Perhaps Asif Zardari.
    What a revolution!
    This is the change that Imran was talking about.

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  • Farhan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:46PM

    Of course you don’t fear death. You’re in the Taliban’s good books.

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  • Adrulze
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:47PM

    Khan sb u have conquered millions of hearts, we love u.

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  • Yasin Khan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:50PM

    A man who can make secret coalition with PPP, cannot bring any change or revolution.

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  • Sohrab Karboy
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:53PM

    It’s not the usual suspects Imran Khan needs to worry about, it’s the Cosa Nostra of Pakistan, the PPP & the PML N, that he needs to worry about. These family run parties have taken turns, alongside with the Khakis, that may not take Imran Khan’s potential for success lying down. When the parties that are accustomed to clean the house to enrich themselves see prospects for fortune-making dissipate they may take extraordinary measures to eliminate competition.

    Imran Khan needs to keep in mind that Jinnah had kept his debilitating tuberculosis a highly guarded secret in order to successfully create Pakistan, or the opponents would have waited it out and would not have let it come to fruition. Imran needs to safeguard his safety with the same dedication in order to insure the success of Naya Pakistan.

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  • Iram
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:55PM

    This is a miracle that we got leader like IK, raised from a corrupt country. Live long our savior. Your relentless efforts will bore fruit soon.

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  • Jaffar Javed
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:58PM

    Entire youth will vote for PML-N. We cannot help PPP by voting for PTI.

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  • Alamgir Khan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:59PM

    May Allah protect him and may Allah lead him to success. We may not like him for certain things, but he has changed trends in Pakistan politics and we cannot even imagine him to be involved in a double game. His trend in politics has already brought other parties under pressure and his opponents do not only copy his actions but also use his jargon, words like, tabdili, naya Pakistan, youth, team etc. He, however, is the only original piece with a clear line of action, others are a bundle of confusion. What is Nawaz’s stance and policy on Taliban, America, drones, suicide bombing, change? Even Nawaz does not know.

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  • Kamran Nabeel
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:59PM

    Imran is suffering from PML (N) phobia. I dont see him recovering from this disease.

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  • Paindoo
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:00PM

    May Almighty protects you my leader :)

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  • Bilal Ghafoor
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:05PM

    Imran needs to go to school again. The way he talks in speeches is questionable. His behaviour is like an uneducated person. No hope from Imran.

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  • waseem sarwar
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:07PM

    Still people shout to vote for PMLN and PPP. I would say if we don’t vote him to power, Pakistan will be doomed forever.

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  • Ch. Ghafoor Islam
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:07PM

    What is there in Imran’s jalsas except music concert, dance and abusive language against Nawaz Sharif. Shame.

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:09PM

    Its an unwise act, as every leader is at risk. May Allah keep everyone safe.

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  • Kamran Nabeel
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:12PM

    There should be balance in everything. Imran just criticizes. Healways shows one side of picture. Good projects of Punjab Government led by Shehbaz Sharif should be appreciated as well. That is why I believe that Imran is a dishonest person.

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  • Laraib Sultan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:16PM

    Educated youth will vote for PML-N. Imran has shook hands with PPP just to cut vote bank of PML-N.

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  • sashayub
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:19PM

    TTP has not even threatened PTI or Imran Khan….what fear of dying is he talking about? he’s not even a big secular/liberal party leader like the ANP….

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  • imran bhatt
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:28PM

    Yes when you get protection from people who spray bullets on their opponents, you do not need bullet proof or bomb proof contraptions.

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  • Faheem
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:32PM

    He is a true leader, i mean one can disagree with his politics, but he is a brilliant leader. A leader who has taken decisions against all odds, e.g think of the Dr. Tahir ul Qadri jalsa in ISB, when everyone was criticizing him that he should join the movement, including Javed Hashmi and many other activists of his party, but he made a tough decision to remain out of it and was applauded by all. Blaming Laskhar e jhangvi in open was another such decision. He is Abraham Lincoln, extremely hard working, honest and a person who will take a stand on principle. He will lead this country INSHALAH. That day is not far now.

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  • muhammad Asif PTI
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:35PM

    Lion symbols suits PTI only

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  • Arcane
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:40PM

    Revolution with Sheikh Rashid and Awais Laghari yeah right!

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  • choptocut
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:47PM

    if he is so brave then he should challenge TTP (who are intruders in our homeland) rather than insisting on cowardly peace deals with them

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  • ABKhan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:55PM

    @Yasin Khan:

    “A man who can make secret coalition with PPP, cannot bring any change or revolution”

    Yes you are right. Thats why Nawaz cant bring change and my vote is for IK to bring change

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  • Wajahat Waseem
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:02PM

    Imran who often uses word “OYE” to address other politicians in public rallies. Shame for him.

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  • Waqa
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:04PM

    @Shoaib Multani:
    since when ethics have become top priority in our nation….i wonder :p

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  • Waqar
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:05PM

    @Laraib Sultan: after listening to your reasoning my bet is that its unlikely you will vote for PMLN…..if you know what i mean :p

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  • Max
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:16PM

    Go ahead IK, we are with u in your war against these shysters.Recommend

  • Salman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:37PM

    Alliance between the only two genuine leaders Imran Khan and Pervez Musharraf would have been great for this country…

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  • Kamran
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:43PM

    Leading from the front. PTI all the way !

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  • Water Bottle
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:47PM

    @Jeerablade:

    “My leader…My Hero”

    A duplicitous person is your Hero? How, unfortunate.

    In a recent interview with Karan Thapar (which you can google, as your moderators doesn’t want you people to see the truth), this same Imran Khan expressed his fear of being KILLED if he named extremists in the interview, in particular Hafiz Saeed which was deliberately asked by Karan Thapar.

    Today he says, he is not afraid of dying!!!

    He needs to stop lying.Recommend

  • OS
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:05PM

    If I praised the Taliban as much as he does I wouldnt be scared either.

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  • Mubashir
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:06PM

    Imran …. The Real Lion!

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  • Kiran Mujahid
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:11PM

    There is a confusion. Who will lead the opposition? PPP or PTI.
    Presently they are united against PML-N but they will fight with each other for Opposition Leader.

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  • Umar Usman Ch.
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:19PM

    PTI stance before May 11 = We will sweep.
    PTI stance after May 11 = Dhandli, Dhandli

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  • Habib Khan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:24PM

    Yes. He conquered his fear by doing underhand deal with PPP. That is why PPP is not running its election compaign in Punjab. Shame.

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  • Apr 30, 2013 - 3:26PM

    Doesn’t every politician say the same thing?? what makes him different from any other’s of them?

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  • Liaqat Yousufzai
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:28PM

    @Gul Muhammad:
    how on earth one questions Imran’s honesty. Please don’t miss this opportunity and vote for change

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  • Jahanzeb Alvi
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:32PM

    Imran shook hands with Musharraf (DICTATOR) to win elections in 2002. He became an important ally of Musharraf. Shame.

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  • ahmer
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:36PM

    hahaha. a man who left is bat and ball behind when driving to north waziristan sitting in a bullet proof suv, talking tough only makes one laugh.

    He made similar claims when he was going to the UK to file cases against Altaf Hussain. We all know what happened there.Recommend

  • Asifa Jamal
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:48PM

    Vote of youth for Nawaz Sharif.

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  • Atif Ejaz
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:59PM

    Imran Khan should also had conquered the fear of defeat before contesting elections 2013.

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  • Ehsan uz Zaman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:05PM

    Imran is a confused person who lacks decision-making skills. Such man is not required for Pakistan.

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  • Shahrukh Sohail
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:13PM

    @Jaffar Javed:
    Which youth? The ones which got bribed by laptops? Or the ones taking to street and are tired of your lollipop gifts?

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  • Munawar Usman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:13PM

    I feel pity for PTI fans. All of them will be saying dhandli dhandli on the evening of May 11.

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  • Munawar Usman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:37PM

    Lion all the way. Bat is already broken.

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  • Hamza Suleman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:43PM

    I endorse Munawar Usman. I feel pity for PPP – PTI alliance. They united just to divide vote bank of PML-N.

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  • Pakistani
    Apr 30, 2013 - 6:56PM

    @PTI-lovers:
    Just one question. Does your honest IK has a duplicate brother?
    Because i recently saw him addressing paced in a bulletproof cabin in Shah Kot.
    I know many of you won’t believe me so here is the link: http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?178327-Congratulations-PTI-Imran-khan-in-Dabba-Pack!
    Please i want the answer to my question. Recommend

  • Atif
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:17PM

    All N,PPP,MQM supporters please do not compare him with your corrupt leaders .. IMRAN have very good repute all over the world and he is known for his honesty, hardwork and love for his country. He is purely doing it for the sake of Pakistan without any bad intentions .. if you want to compare him with your so called leaders then ask anyone living abroad you will automatically know to whom all of you criticizing here

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  • Arzoo
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:44PM

    @Pakistani: Though I am not surprised, it’s still quite disappointing that you would raise a trivial point that Imran Khan used a security shield while addressing a crowd in Nankana Sahib. While the nation is facing unprecedented difficulties because of the corruption and loot, bank loan defaults, tax evasion, and luxurious spending on themselves from the public funds by the politicians, you are criticizing one of the very few political leaders that has condemned the looting of public’s money. What exactly is your point???? In a nation known world over for lack of security, a political candidate should not protect himself????? I would much rather see you raising points to help the people and the nation than criticizing someone that has built an image of honesty and integrity.

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  • Saad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:57PM

    Is it only me or other people also think that most of these comments in support of Noon are by the same person? Just observe the language and tone of each comment! Even their names. There seems to be a trend!Recommend

  • Haram Usman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:59PM

    PPP always criticized Punjab Government. Imran also criticizes Punjab Government.
    Zardari never criticized government of other 3 provinces. Imran also does not criticize governments of other 3 provinces.
    Whata bad role being played by Imran. How can we say that he is an honest man.
    Imran is just fooling the nation.

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  • Ahmad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:05PM

    Jeo, Imran Khan.. jeo…
    May Allah protect you…

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  • Junoon
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:52PM

    Vote for PML-N.
    Vote of youth for PML-N.

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  • Junoon
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:52PM

    Vote for PML-N.
    Vote of youth for PML-N.

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  • Bubba
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:53PM

    If he is so fearless then why didn’t he march into Waziristan as promised?

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  • Apr 30, 2013 - 10:05PM

    that is why i prayed for you, before my family, while holding the walls of Kaaba. INSHALLAH, my country will rise, for sure it will rise. Imran Khan Zindabad

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  • Rex Minor
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:36PM

    Why must you tell fibs Imran? Did you not escape from your arrest by the Musharaf military, by jumpng out of the widow of your Islamabad house?

    This reaction was natural and wise but was prompted through FEAR sir! Geoge W ducked to avoid Iraqi shoe hitting him; this was also a reaction due to fear. You former President Musharaf kept a pistol on his person because he feared not only his potential enemy but also his military security guards as well. .

    Good luck!

    Rex Minor

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  • PRINCE
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:49PM

    NAWAZ SHARIF ZINDABAD

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  • manchala
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:59PM

    PTI has lost the battle.

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  • Najeebullah
    May 1, 2013 - 12:33AM

    Yes Yes we know how brave you are. We have seen your bravery when you were denouncing the Taliban.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 1, 2013 - 3:31AM

    There is not fear when Taliban are friends.

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  • bablooo
    May 1, 2013 - 7:19AM

    pml n has won the elections. coalition of ppp and pti will lose on 11th may.

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  • JAZBA
    May 1, 2013 - 11:16AM

    pml n all the way.

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  • bilal
    May 1, 2013 - 11:44AM

    @Junoon:
    @manchala:
    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    @bablooo:
    the whole Pakistan is disturbed. please stop supporting the ones who are trying to destabilize Pakistan. Khudaah kae liyay speak for change. better late than never

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  • Truth
    May 1, 2013 - 12:04PM

    PTI will finish after May 11. PML-N is the best party.

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  • Dany
    May 1, 2013 - 12:59PM

    I feel pity for all my dear PTI fans who will be crying on the evening of May 11.

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  • عظیم اسلم
    May 1, 2013 - 1:26PM

    O my lovely Leader You have already won the hearts and minds of Pakistani People.
    May ALLAH give you success in this elections and it will be a success of Pakistan ultimately.

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  • JUNOONI
    May 1, 2013 - 1:55PM

    imran is contesting from 4 seats.
    he has lost from Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. There is fight in Mianwali.
    i request PTI fans to please be realistic.

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  • SAK
    May 1, 2013 - 3:37PM

    IK is the real leader. Such a charismatic personality.

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  • Lion
    May 1, 2013 - 4:24PM

    He should also tell the nation what were Nawaz Sharif’s contribution in building Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
    He should also tell the nation who laid foundation stone of this hospital.
    He should also tell the nation who provided free lanf for this hospital.
    He should also tell the nation who allowed all machinery for the hospital free of taxes and duties.
    IT WAS ONLY NAWAZ SHARIF. Please be realistic. You people only show one side of picture. Show the other side too.

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  • YASIR
    May 1, 2013 - 5:45PM

    pml n will defeat coalition of PPP and PTI.
    pti has become B team of ppp.

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  • Josheela Jawan
    May 1, 2013 - 10:17PM

    PTI will have no Senator during next two anf half year.
    suppose they come into power, how will they do the legislation?
    no change can be brought without legislation.
    imran is just fooling the nation. he can bring no change.
    vote for youth for pml n.

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  • Bahauddin Naul
    May 2, 2013 - 8:54AM

    Buck up Khan. Nations is with you. You are a Pathan: a valiant and resilient creed. Nation will chop the hands that even think about touching you. We love you all. Please help us get rid of PPP and N league.

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  • Tamur
    May 2, 2013 - 11:33AM

    Yes IK, your massive security team and bullet proof SUV have taken the fear of death away from you. Lose them and walk alone into a rally if you dare.

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